My wife Andrea is a North Carolina Tarheels fan and as such, she is harder on the Tarheels than I am and I’m a Duke fan. (See this prior post on this subject.) North Carolina drew a #1 seed in the tournament so they get the privilege of starting off against a #16 seed. While a #16 seed has never beaten a #1 seed, there have been years where at least one #16 seed would keep a #1 seed on the ropes for at least part of the game. This year, it was Florida Gulf Coast which was only down by 1 at the end of the first half against North Carolina. Andrea was not happy. Online on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, other Carolina fans were not happy. How dare the Tarheels only be winning by ONE point against the Florida Gulf Coast Beauty School and Tire Repair Center?
Regarding these #1/#16 match ups, I’ve often wondered just how hard are the #1 seeds really trying? I’m not suggesting the #1 seeded team is slacking off but perhaps their playing might be a little less aggressive. What good would it do to go balls to the wall full tilt against a #16 seed opponent, risking injury or exhaustion that could hurt the team against the higher seeded opponents to come? Especially in the 1st half. And in the 2nd half, the Tarheels did play more like a #1 seed and easily put away the Florida Gulf Coast Cooking School and Gardening Supply Store*.